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Posts from the ‘Myself’ Category

Emotional Writing

an-opportunity-to-rebuild-yourselfI have been blessed to be part of a great writers critique group (The Long Beach Writer’s Critique Group) that has helped me to want to continue writing.  One small change that I made last year was to submit more often to the group. Initially, I was hesitant because like most writers, I had the fear that my writing was not good enough. Although the feeling has not gone away, the feedback I have received from the group has made my writing exponentially better.

That still has not changed the fact that I am a “pantser” (one who writes without an outline) or, in my case, someone who looks at a blank page and has no idea what is going to come out. So last week, I volunteered to submit a piece, and at first, it started with me describing my brain bleed which then got me to a dear mentors death due to anesthesia which took me to the deeper hole about my stroke then to my jaw surgery in high school and then to my cornea transplant, and suddenly I had pages and pages filled in and I couldn’t take a breath. The words poured out, and what started out as a simple essay about a simple surgery (I thought) suddenly choked me, and I froze.

I have heard about emotional writing, but never experienced it in this manner until now. What seemed easy suddenly became the hardest things as it hit me that there is so much I have not dealt with. So much stuff I just bottled up and treated it as if it was in the past, and then the old quote came up(paraphrased here): “those who do not learn from their past are doomed to repeat it..” So hit me that as much as it hurts, I have to keep writing. If for nothing else, just so I can finally know what emotions are still there.

 

Days 1 to 7

downloadIn the whirlwind of first time travels to Dubai and coming back to India after 16 years, I learned a lot about myself, and still continue to do so. Each day as I look around, I see so much possibility in humanity. People’s willingness to do whatever it takes is what struck me in Dubai. It was news to me how many indian lived there to make a living. Several taxi drivers told me Dubai did not refuse Visas to anyone.  All were welcome. Judging from the massive buildings and the amount of people, it made sense to have a big service economy. I am no expert, but what also struck me is how desperate Dubai is to be seen as a tourist destination. Alcohol is a privilege and while other religions exist, pictures of the Sheikh rulers and Islam are quite prominent. It was just different, but I also felt pride at the lengths my people go to take care of their own. Overall, the place felt cold but open.

Then came to India, and I embraced it. The diarrhea, the traffic, the noise pollution, the fearless pedestrians, seeing my relatives and my grandfather’s house. all of it enveloped me and it felt right.  Each day, new things come up and it amazes me our the ingenuity people show. Delhi is a traffic beast, yet one can either embrace it or uselessly shout at it. India teaches me presence, and the idea that once you let it go as to how it is supposed to be and how it is, you cannot help but enjoy it!

Silence Within

dwell-in-possibilityLast night, I came back from a weekend workshop with men where I found out for myself that silence is not necessarily bad if it’s filled with energy that moves other people into passion or positive action.  For me, too often, I used silence to avoid, shutdown when all that was needed was acceptance and being open to listening and open possibilities.

Why around men? Because too often, I spent too much time wanting to prove my manhood or that I can hang when rather than be vulnerable and be open. So this weekend with 28 brothers, I learned that it is okay to be myself no matter how it looks like.  In a group, I learned about myself and possibilities.

A journey of self-discovery in the midst of men who supported me to discover areas in my life that I can sculpt to be better and be more significant. A powerful weekend that taught me  I am never alone, and there is always possibility.

So the Silence Within Dwells with possibility and for that I am grateful!

Lifestyle Bloat

yo-yo-dietingIt does not take much for things to change. One minute you are on a kick ass trip of working out three times a week and the next you are scarfing down a whole Pizza with a 6 pack of beer. Yup, that’s been me. Here’s the thing. Each time I lose the weight and then gain it back, it gets harder to lose. I know the key terms by heart. Lifestyle change, food preparation, protein intake, etc. Yet again and again I fall off the wagon.

I have the usual excuses: laziness, emotional eating, hungry, “treating myself”, etc, but what’s really going on is me deciding it’s just too hard. I allow my mind to rationalize for me that a few weeks of cheating isn’t a big deal. That what’s the harm. Yet deep inside, there is an insecurity that I will never have that 6 pack that I desired all my life or that I will never be able to do a pull up, or that I am slow and will never good enough so why bother.

Most times, I can squelch that voice, but there are times it beats me. what I have learnt that it’s true victory will be when I just don’t get back up (cue Rocky IV theme music). So I am back it, harder than ever, twice a day for 5 days and down some pounds. More than anything else, I not only feel light on my body, but in my mind.

And that’s what matters.

Few Moments

76717-Winnie+pooh+quotes+saying+goodEach morning, I wake up and for a few seconds while I am still in bed, I express gratitude for my life, for the people in it and my existence. Those few moments matter to me because so much could change. It has in the past. New people, problems, ideas and things happen. Then there is the inevitable loss. It surprises me still how I respond when death occurs. It is as if I continually forget how that is also life’s deal. You come in one day, and you leave. Most of the time, you never know when, but you know what even if you do, it has become important for me to love my life and the people in it the way I was meant to.

This means connecting with loved ones, telling them how I feel, letting them know they matter to me, and how much. I forget sometimes, but lately those few seconds, I send out gratitude.  I used to feel silly , but no longer.  Life is too important to be lost in regrets. That’s not to say, I don’t say it to them, just that those moments have become important because sometimes words are enough.

I say again and again in those moments and now. Thank you for being in my life. Thank you for allowing me to see your light. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Simple words, important. I no longer need to have to see all my loved ones (although I wish I could), but if nothing else I hope and pray these thoughts reach them in their moment of need.

Reflections on 2015: Love More, Live More & Give More

So the last two days have been eventful in my life. Actually, if I was honest, I would say this past month and the whole year has been. But yesterday, I spent most of the day at the ER for a headache that wouldn’t go away. Last time, that happened, I had a subdural hematoma (a bleed in the brain) so it’s frightening. Luckily, it turned out to be migraine caused by heavy congestion. Then, this morning around 5am, someone tried to break into our garage. Our brave  seven pound Maltipoo alerted us with her bark, and we called the police who confirmed that someone had kicked the door in.  They didn’t get anything, although they were welcome to the 2 broken bikes, poker table, and 4 tires that were in there. I almost wished it was a homeless person that we could have given money to spend the night someone since it was so cold out.

The lessons I took from these events is that 2016 is the year I work on improving the foundation of my home to taking my health to the next level. I have had too many scares to not take it seriously.  Yet, I also got a chance to reflect on how many amazing things happened this year.  I learned that I focus too much on what I didn’t get done, and while that works on motivation, it devalues me in a way. So while it may sound like bragging, it’s more of a testament of just acknowledging myself that I am on the right path,

This year, I completed a Spartan Trifecta, wrote a novel, and 4 other personal essays, completed a leadership program, did lots of community service, started practicing law, deadlifted 305 pounds, worked out regularly, raised and donated money, became a Artesia chamber member, connected with loved ones, acknowledged my failures in trust with key people, and learned much more than I thought possible.

Now 2016 comes, and I now know that I need to travel more, do more fun stuff with Preeti, and of course learn more. So the last two days are a reminder of what more I get to work on, and as part of what I learned from Four Agreements is to accept it all and not take it personal.

So Happy New Year to all my loved ones.  I hope you take a chance to reflect on your year as I did. It is a great way to build a foundation for the future!

Still Learning

quote-pride-makes-us-artificial-and-humility-makes-us-real-thomas-merton-126335Another exciting filled weekend filled with great friends, my beautiful wife and dog, and life lessons. Bella turned 7 this year, and it astonishes me how a 9 pound animal with four legs can bring so much joy to us. From the mornings where she hops and follows my every move till I take her to a walk to her running around like a crazed sheep in circles for a few minutes then sleep all day, Bella is one of those let’s just “well rested” animals. I am grateful for who she is though. I never thought she would provide me so many lessons on taking care of someone.

Over the weekend, I had some great friends come over. It hit me that I have known them for decades, and it brings me great joy to know that we are still in touch, still connecting, and I am still a big mouth. This is an old habit of mine where I get too comfortable, and share too much details that no one’s business. It’s a lesson I am still learning. I share too much, and even though I’d like to think my intentions are clear, there is a part of me that knows that I am being judgement. Being “holier than thou”, and it has no place in my life as I myself am deeply flawed.  Who am I to judge? (paraphrasing the Pope here). So with deep humility, I apologized. Before pride would me defensive, and all the reasons would come up why what I did was OK, but, to me, it was clear. If I hurt someone’s feelings then I need to make right. It is something that I am still learning.

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